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Nelson - Alpine Beer Company

Not Rated.

Educational use only; do not reuse.

780 Reviews
no score

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Reviews: 780
Hads: 3,766
Avg: 4.38
pDev: 8.68%
Wants: 1,382
Gots: 570 | FT: 23
Brewed by:
Alpine Beer Company
California, United States | website

Style | ABV
American IPA | 7.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: OStrungT on 08-11-2006

A Golden Rye IPA - An outstanding hop from New Zealand, Nelson Sauvin, is generously used throughout the brewing and dry-hopping of this unique beer. European rye is added for a smooth, malty addition to flavor. 1.065 OG 7% AB
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Reviews: 780 | Hads: 3,766
Photo of brystmar
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I'll preface this by saying Single IPAs really aren't my thing.

Picked up a 2-day-old bottle at the brewpub, brought it home and shared with some friends last week (~5 days after bottling). Last bottle of Nelson shared with me was a few weeks old. For those of you wondering, lemme assure you there's a HUGE difference in IPAs when they are super fresh.

Incredible aroma of fresh, juicy oranges emanates from my glass. Hops not far behind, but this is orange central. The citrus fruits carry over strongly into the taste and really help balance out the hoppiness. By far the best Single IPA I've tasted to date, and arguably the first one I've ever enjoyed enough to want more.

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Photo of beerguru14
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour, Color, & Aroma:
I have the plea­sure of vis­it­ing the hills of San Diego many times a year due to hav­ing sev­eral of my wife’s fam­ily mem­bers liv­ing there. It just so hap­pens there is a gem of a brew­ery down the street called Alpine Beer Com­pany. They quickly became a place I made sure to visit any­time I was near. There­fore, Alpine being my favorite brew­ing com­pany, I wanted to review one of my go to sea­sonal brews.

This beer pours a nice cop­per gold with a slight hazi­ness. The head was a beau­ti­ful white color. Head retained itself for sev­eral min­utes leav­ing a nice lac­ing along the glass. The rye is promi­nent dur­ing the ini­tial sniff, fol­lowed by cit­rus, mostly a nice orange and grape­fruit aroma. There were also hints of caramel, bis­cuits, a bit of mango, a slight pear and another aroma that was hard to put my fin­ger on that could have been some­thing sim­i­lar to a cream/vanilla ice cream.

This beer has a great fla­vor. There is a great hop pres­ence with a nice rye back­bone. The hops added a hand­some zesty grape­fruit to the already fla­vor­ful grain bill. Can’t imag­ine a rye beer that is more bal­anced than this. A hint of grape, orange and an earthy fla­vor slowly make its way up the palate. The malts are a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult to iden­tify only due to the other fla­vor pro­files that are right up front, but there was a faint caramel and bready flavor.

Fin­ish & Body:
The beer was light as well as very dry. The alco­hol gave me a slight warmth going down, and even at 7%, this beer was smooth! The beer could eas­ily be con­sumed due to its light body and very smooth finish.

Final Thoughts:
This is a great exam­ple of what a bal­anced rye beer should be. The brew­ers cer­tainly choose the best hops to com­pli­ment the rye used in the grain bill. The com­plex­ity of the beer would make this a dif­fi­cult beer for a new comer to the beer scene. If you are ever in the San Diego area, do your­self a favor and look these guys up! Prost!

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Photo of Dope
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Major fail for no bottle date.

A: Pours a hazy dull orange. Enormous frothy white head. Great head retention with a huge island of foam. Widespread spiderweb lacing from top to bottom.

S: Crisp grapefruit and a dry white wine. I guess Nelson hops really earn their name. Lost of apricot as it warms. A nice sharp rye malt to follow it. Familiar cat urine aroma in all the right ways.

T: Lots of grapefruit and cat urine. LOTS of it. One of the strongest ever. Robust but not overpowering spicy rye follows it and seemingly amplifies it. Not hugely bitter but has plenty of hop flavor to go around. Kind of an astringent, mouth-drying feel through the finish. Interesting white wine flavor lingering between sips. Really has a pretty convincing aftertaste. As it warms, the white wine is more and more prevalent.

M: Nice medium bodied. Long lasting bitterness and dryness leaves a lasting impression.

O: Man, Alpine can really make them, can't they? Had Duet last night which was amazing. This isn't QUITE as good. Very good, very different, just not quite as amazeballs. Not super bitter like duet but still has that big strength and complexity of hop flavors. Rye malt adds a further layer and stands out a bit. Great beer.

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Photo of uturn
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 oz bomber poured into a Funky Buddha Lounge & Brewery pint glass.

A: This beer poured a nice rich golden amber with a 1 finger white head.

S: As soon as you open up this bottle you get a whiff of citrus which keeps improving as it is poured into the glass.

T: As you taste this IPA you get a nice mildly bitter grapefruit taste followed by some mild sweetness from the rye which really balances this brew.

M: The Mouthfeel is light with mild carbonation.

D: The drinkability was exceptional. This is a great everyday brew, especially on hot Florida days/nights and for pairing with spicy foods.

If you are looking for something with a bit more of a hop kick you should try out Alpines "other" hoppy brews, such as Double (Imperial) I.P.A Pure Hoppiness or if you dare their Triple IPA Exponential Hoppiness

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Photo of LSUPT
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to DeathVader, 22oz bomber to Stone IPA glass.
Pours a deep straw yellow with a great 3-inch white head. Leaves tons of thick lacing that dissipates gradually over the course of the drink but I prefer a bit darker IPA with better clarity.

Smell is amazing, not strong, but the grapefruit, pineapple and orange scents are divine.

White wine characteristics are noticeable, juicy, juicy hops, some pine, lots of grapefruit, similar to Sculpin but with, in my opinion, a greater complexity of flavor and Nelson Sauvin hop bitterness is really great.

Carbonation is pretty low, and the almost creamy mouthfeel is a bit weird for me for an IPA.

Overall, this is a very good IPA with the mouthfeel the only drawback for me, but I would love to be able to drink this beer more often.

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Photo of abrand
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Second of the west coast IPA's. Another bottle from JesseTheHut.

22 ounce bomber poured into the SN tumbler. Label explains the use of New Zealand hops that are used in this.

The Nelson pours a hazy amber orange color. A nice frothy pure white head sits atop with very good lacing and retention. The color is much darker than other IPA's. Aromas are nice and sweet with citrus fruits popping out of a nice hop backbone. Also some hints of grains and caramel. Quaff is much different from other hoppy IPA's. Plenty of hops make up the taste but there is also some piny notes. Not much citrus in the mouth. Mouthfeel is well carbonated and medium bodied. Plenty of hops bounce around on the tongue. Drinkability is obviously high, ABV allows you to sip a couple and taste is right there. I am very excited to move onto the other IPA's from Alpine.

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Photo of arukasa
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A light amber, golden color with a thick, persistent head that leaves significant lace. Quite floral nose with light hops. Grapefruit nose becomes more prominent as the beer warms up.

There is a rye bite and bitterness that is amplified by the grapefruit nose. Light hop bitterness. This combination gives an almost salty "zing" that clears the palate. Good carbonation, smooth mouthfeel with a bitter salt/rye kick.

Overall, this is a great second or third beer that will cleanse your palate for what's next.

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Photo of CurtFromHershey
4.32/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy copper gold. Attractive beer, but minimal head and lacing.

Smell is unlike any other beer I've had, likely the Nelson hops. Somewhat floral, a bit spicy, and something else I can't put my finger on.

Tastes follows the nose closely but slightly muted.

Mouthfeel is slick with tight carbonation.

Overall a fantastic beer I hope to get to enjoy again in the future.

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Photo of ilikebeer03
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

nose is juicy, tropical fruits. tons of mango, pineapple, juicy tropical fruit. amazing. carbonation is a little light for the style and the i would like it to be a bit crisper in the body. over all an amazing, beer. will definitely seek out again.

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Photo of ALBuff
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I wasn't floored at first look (depth of color underwhelming), but this beer had a great nose and nice silky texture. I marked it down for having a bitterness that lingered slightly too long on my tongue, but otherwise this was my favorite IPA tasted at Alpine (Nelson, Duet, Pure Hoppiness, 1910).

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Photo of Buck89
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Slightly hazy golden straw color. Fairly thin white head but nice lacing. Nice big aromas - tropical fruit, grape, orange, and a little earth. Citrus taste with orange, tangerine, pineapple, white grape and some spicy rye malt. Pleasantly bitter and a clean finish. Medium-bodied. A great IPA.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy golden body, not much light through, with a full white head and lots of lacing.

S - A nose full of fruit, heavy on grapefruit flesh and pith, mango and lemon, and a touch of spice.

T - Strongly bitter flavor, with pith first, and a spicy malt hit from the rye, with flavors cycling out to the close.

M - Moderate carbonation, bright feel, mild drying on the close.

O - Glad I had a chance to pick up a growler from Jungle Jim's. It is a solid IPA, flavorful and drinkable. Quite bitter, but not overly so.

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Photo of rorykanderson
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Outstanding beer. Surprised by the contrast between the aroma, which is all pine needles and pakalolo, and the pour which isn't cloudy or murky at all but rather golden with a light head. Taste is dank (but not sticky) and citrusy, but there's also a slightly smokey and herbal taste. Beautiful dry finish compliments the NZ hops very well. A real gem. At one point I would imagine this was considered very hoppy but in today's world of ever more hop-forward profiles Nelson actually feels more nuanced and subtle. Go figure.

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Photo of ZachDow7
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at HopCat East Lansing....tapped 2 days prior for an Alpine Dinner, was very solid...not as fruity as I was expecting but enjoyed it none the less.....lived up to its expectation....other than the 9 dollar per 12oz pour lol

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Photo of McStagger
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

First had on tap, which I've been told is not as good since GF botched the process. Bought a bomber and whaddya know, big ole Green Flash symbol on it too. Oh, well. Best by March 21, 2016.

A: Pours a pale, hazy yellow. Slightly more orange than a hefe. Finger of head. Fairly rocky. Good lacing. Moderate retention. Carbonation is minimal, with tiny bubbles forming along the glass and rising lazily to the surface. Looks unfiltered af.

S: Wow, that is aromatic. Big sauvignon blanc notes. Cat piss, citrus, grapefruit, onion/garlic, dank.

T: So, so good. Bitter, but not incredibly so. Slightly sharp in the front, the flavors bomb the palate after swallowing. Grapefruit rind, floral sweetness, lemon oil, white wine. Maltiness is subdued and the rye is bordering on the nonexistant. Slight spicy tropical fruit. Very, very dry.

M: Not very carbonated, but the light malt presence balances this out. While I wouldn't go so far as to call it quenching, this beer is very, very easy to drink thanks to the impecabble dryness.

O: Killer stuff. Hoppiness really pops through. More hop flavor than most DIPA's. Damn good.

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Photo of StrongAleSkeptic
4.31/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a bottle fresh from brewery.
A - Pours a slightly unfiltered pale yellow with a thick foaming head with great retention. Decent pair of legs to stand on.
S - Rich, pungent, piny hops with an intense floral bouquet permeate the nose. Grain is represented by a nice biscuit overtone. Dry-hopping success! The New Zealand hop schedule is represented very well.
T - Delicious hop-forward presence that seems to be balanced by a nice, simple grain bill. Some citrus notes with contributions of grapefruit and lemon.
M - Textured, medium-bodied standard that is extremely quaffable. Bold but sessionable.
O - Alpine brewing is definitely one of the gems of San Diego county that unfortunately live in the shadows of the larger scale operations. This is a phenomenal IPA that I believe easily contends with the bigger So-Cal IPA's. Wonderful stuff.

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Photo of magictrokini
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Clear gold with a medium white head. Pine, resin bomb in the nose with grass and grapefruit. More resin and pine in the flavor, with the citrus taking a back seat. Sharp rye taste in the back with minerals and a vinuous bite. I see this is listed as an APA here, even though the company calls it and IPA. Either way, it is an excellent beer.

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Photo of nickd717
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tap at Toronado 22nd Anniversary.

A - Clear golden with a lasting white head.

S - Aroma is pale and rye malts, grassy/floral hops, and maybe even a little bit of the "wacky tobacky" (intentional corniness).

T - Pale malt, grain, great spicy rye, and fresh citrus/floral hops. Not really much caramel malt, if any at all, but this is a good thing as it causes the hops and rye to be showcased more.

M - Body medium, palate crisp and fairly refreshing.

D - Very high. This beer is solid.

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Photo of Bung
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. A hazy orange pour with about a finger of white head. Sticks to the glass very well.

Floral and piney hop aroma. Also a very apparent presence of rye spice.

Taste has the hoppy tones, but the rye spice is very present. Malt backbone keeps it together well. There is kind of a leathery/tea element that is the only drawback. The finish is a little brief, but the resin does remain on the breath.

Creamier than most, from the rye I'd guess. Goes down smooth and very easy.

Definetely unique and worth seeking out.
Not a straight up 1 dimensional hop head brew, which is probably why I like it.

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Photo of philbe311
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A kind and generous coworker brought this back from their beercation in San Diego

A - A standard pour yields two plus fingers worth of active light khaki colored froth with a rich and creamy whipped top which is comprised of big and bigger chunky bubbles... Rock star retention... Once the head finally fades away there is an uneven splotchy lacing and moderate collar... A few stray carbonation bubbles streak rapidly throughout... Some carbonation bubbles just cling to the sides of the glass... The color is a muted copper... There is a slight haziness throughout... A wee bit of lacing clings to the sides of the glass...

S - The nose can be detected without bring one's nose anywhere remotely near the glass... An intoxicating blend of hoppy goodness... First a sweet citrus and tropical fruit... This ebb and flows with a dank piney hop presence... The two fight for supremacy before the sweet tropical fruit notes prove dominate... Sweet orange... Pineapple... Grapefruit... Mango... The end result is a unique and world class aroma... Some light malt undertones of bread crust and caramel...

T - Starts with sweet citrus... Next comes the dank piney notes... There is a robust earthiness throughout the palate... A sturdy biscuity malt base emerges next with some faint toffee and caramel notes mixed in... The grapefruit reemerges on the finish and lingers in a very pleasant way...

M - On the fuller side of medium bodied... Lightly carbonated... Starts with a touch of lushness, but proves to be mostly dry throughout... A bit chalky on the finish...

D - A world class American IPA... The aroma is rock star and all other facets far exceed better than average and flirt with best on class... I've long wanted to try this brew and I wasn't dissappointed... I only wish it was available in my area on a consistent basis...

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Photo of scottoale
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nelson Rye IPA on-tap and cask conditioned at O'Brien's today...This is an IPA, definetely not an APA as listed, but what the heck...who really cares?

Served in a pint glass, a very yellow-straw gold with a 1/2" white foamy head and some very sticky resinous lace...looks like liquid gold! Very cloudy, much like a wheat, but it's rye.

The smell is delightful, grapefruit orchard and a pine forest mixed into one. Very aeromatic and refreshing essence...just makes you want to taste it!

The taste mimmics the smell, full-blown grapefruit that turns into a pine wallop, a classic IPA flavor with character and a unique balance that finishes clean and crisp.

The alcohol is very well masked in this medium bodied ale of bliss. Too easy to drink as well as a hot weather pleaser. You don't want to miss this one...another winner from Alpine!

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

thanks to kawilliam81 for sharing this brew!

poured into tulip glass.

reviewed from natoes on 6/16/12.

Appearance: clear and brilliant yellowish orange bodied beer with 1 finger of white head.

Smell: Citrusy, and fruity with spicy rye and a bit of yeast.

Taste: mild bitterness and moderately spicy. Citrus, grass, and floral notes. Grapefruit and peach. Rye is really spicy and is found midpalate and continues into the finish. A peppery note combines with the rye in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied beer with moderate carbonation. Super drinkable with a touch of creaminess.

Overall: My first Alpine beer! Mellow bitterness with big flavor is the best way to summarize this beer. Really unique IPA that is both memorable and unique!

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Photo of FosterJM
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

275th review on BA
bottle to mug

App- A clear golden color with some streaks of Orange and Yellow. One finger head that was quick to recede and had some nice lacing.

Smell- Big floral hops on this one. Not too much citrus. A faint grapefruit/tangerine. A bit of a wheat smell in there as well.

Taste- A very good IPA. It's tasty and crisp and clean. Slightly spicy with a balanced citrus back. Not overpowering and a nice drinker.

Mouth- Medium bodied with a medium carb level. Coats the tounge well with spicy flavor. Leaves a pleasant sweet grapefruit aftertaste.

Drink- I like me some Alpine. All of them have been very good. I could sip on this one for a long time. I swear I need to learn to buy more than 1 bottle of something.

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Photo of MikeM417
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Nelson Sauvin is one of my favorite hops, as you can tel by my avatar. I was looking forward to trying Alpine Nelson for quite some time. I finally got a couple of fresh bottles in a trade and I have to say, I was a bit let down. It must be that I am spoiled living here in New England, but it does not stack up to the heavy hitters over here. 5 years ago this was considered world class. Today, not so much.

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Photo of ONUMello
4.3/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a growler into an IPA glass
A: Hazy light orange with a two-finger head that slowly settles
S: Lots of grapefruit along with rye and coriander
T: Matches the nose- grapefruit, rye, earth and spice
M: Medium-bodied, crisp, bitter
O: A very solid IPA; the spicy notes the rye adds up the amount of complexity making it quite tasty

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Nelson from Alpine Beer Company
97 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.